Ontario teachers’ union backs NDP education plan

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The education plan outlined in the Ontario NDP’s election platform is being applauded by a teachers’ union.

In a statement sent to CanIndia News, The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) says that if implemented, the NDP’s proposed “would bring long-needed improvements to Ontario’s public education system”.

The NDP plan outlines a number of commitments that enable educators to better support students, ETFO has said. The union spokesperson Carla Pereira highlighted several key points which included lowering class size, increasing special education funding and ending the hybrid learning model and EQAO testing.

“The Ontario NDP has a detailed and doable plan to fix what the Liberals and Conservatives broke and invest to ensure Ontario’s world-class public education system thrives,” the party said on its website. It promises to reverse Doug Ford’s cuts, hire 20,000 more teachers and education workers as well as repeal Bill 124 which has limited compensation increase to one per cent or less.

The NDP also promises to add more mental supports and workers and end violence against education workers

In addition, it vows to hire more custodians and maintenance staff and establish a province-wide standard for cleaning and school repairs, update ventilation systems and address the school repair backlog.

ETFO represents approximately 83,000 members, including public elementary teachers, occasional teachers, designated early childhood educators, education support personnel, and professional support personnel. The labour union’s support could give NDP, which is currently trailing the Conservatives and Liberals in early polls, a significant boost in the June provincial elections.

The NDP is also wooing post-secondary students with its promise to reverse Ford’s cuts to OSAP.

“We’ll overhaul Ontario’s post-secondary education funding system and re-invest in the Ontario Student Assistance Program, with a focus on converting loans to grants and bursaries,” the party stated on its website.

It has also promised to “wipe out any student loan interest owed or paid to the province by any student or past student who still holds a provincial loan”.

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